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The Innovator Advocator: Roma Boots

An interview with Samuel Bistrian, Founder and CEO of Roma Boots

Please tell us a little more about yourself and about Roma Boots.

I was born in a small village in Transylvania with 11 siblings during the communist regime. I love nature, gardening, travel, writing and my lovely family. I started Roma Boots to help children who were as poor as I was or poorer and my goal was that the boots would be a conduit of hope and love that will eventually help them to break out of poverty.

What made you want to start your business?

I worked in fashion at Neiman Marcus for 10 years, yet I traveled to over 40 countries and saw that there was a lot of need. I also lived in Latin America doing humanitarian work prior to Neiman Marcus. I then met Blake Mycoskie (founder of TOMS) and realized that I can combine my love of fashion with philanthropy and that’s how Roma was born.

What is the toughest decision that you have had to make with regards to your business?

Sacrifice and staying the course despite not having enough money to provide for my family or pay the bills, even when other opportunities that seemed greater came my way.

What is the future goal for Roma Boots?

To give poverty the boot and inspire hope around the world; hope to those purchasing the boots so that they can be a solution to the problem of poverty and hope to children living in poverty so that they can break out of that cycle.

What have been the most satisfying moments of your journey in creating Roma Boots?

Seeing thousands of lives changed in 25 countries on 5 continents. Having countless people jump on board and support our cause because they believe in what we were doing. Seeing Roma as a brand grow and be sold in retailers like Nordstrom and hundreds of boutiques around the U.S.

Before you started, if there is any advice that you would’ve gave to yourself, what would it have been?

It’s going to be a lot harder than you think, but never quit.

Visit them online to shop their amazing products at

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